Be alarmed: The U.S. government continues to be "advised by organizations and individuals that the U.S. government itself has identified in federal courts as fronts for the international Muslim Brotherhood."
So wrote Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in a lengthy, heavily footnoted answer to a query last week from Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. He was seeking more information about the reasons Bachmann plus four other House Republicans -- Louis Gohmert (Texas), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and Thomas Rooney (Fla.) -- requested Inspector General investigations into "potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration" of the government.
Yes, that would be the same Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders are sweeping to power in the Middle East -- most recently in Egypt. There, the new president, Mohamed Morsi, fired up voters this spring by declaring: "The Koran is our constitution. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration." That, by the way, is the Muslim Brotherhood's motto.
Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S. still take a low-key approach, at least publicly. Thanks to the FBI discovery of a key Muslim Brotherhood document, we know what they're up to, even who some of them are. The document, entered into evidence during the landmark Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, presents the Brotherhood plan for "civilization-jihad" against the U.S. It describes the group's "grand jihad" to destroy "the Western civilization from within ... so that it is eliminated and (Islam) is made victorious over all religions." Further, it declares Brotherhood support for "the global Islamic state wherever it is." It also lists 29 of "our organization and the organizations of our friends" -- i.e., front groups. Among them are such well-known Islamic organizations as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), both of which remain unindicted co-conspirators.
What is beyond shocking -- beyond reason -- is that such anti-American Brotherhood-linked groups and individuals have variously engaged, particularly since 9/11, with the U.S. government. Is it a coincidence that U.S. policy has since become receptive to, if not openly supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood? This is the serious question these House Republicans want answered.
"Influence" can be an intangible thing, but sometimes there are signs. For example, someone, something, somehow managed to convince Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood was a "largely secular organization" without "an overarching agenda."
This is a laughable statement -- unless spoken in earnest by the DNI. Then the question becomes: Is it possible that in Clapper's chain of information there is, in fact, disinformation? Other questions Bachmann and her colleagues have concern the Homeland Security Department, where, for example, Mohamed Magid, head of ISNA, the largest Brotherhood front group, according to the U.S. government itself, also serves as a member of Homeland Security's Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.
Are there national security implications in the influence of Brotherhood front groups on Justice Department and FBI policies on terrorism? Bachmann & Co. want to find out. How about the ongoing relationship between domestic Brotherhood front groups and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)? As Bachmann notes, this foreign bloc of 57 Muslim nations "claims jurisdiction over Muslims in non-Muslim lands, defines human rights as shariah, and advocates that Muslims not assimilate into the cultures of non-Muslims." What of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's decision to team up with the OIC to pass a U.N. resolution to restrict free speech deemed to be "defamation" of Islam? Such an effort flouts the First Amendment and also reverses U.S. policy. Could malign influence be a factor?
These five Republicans have also expressed concern over media reports that Clinton's longtime top aide Huma Abedin has family relations (late father, mother, brother) with ties to Muslim Brotherhood groups. Her mother, for example, reportedly belongs to the Muslim Sisterhood, a group the new first lady of Egypt also reportedly belongs to. Are such reports true? Do they have security implications? These are questions Americans have a right to know.
"For us to raise issues about a highly based U.S. government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin," Bachmann writes. "In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. government of anyone seeking a security clearance."
I'm guessing the bit about Abedin is the only piece of this complex story most readers have heard of. It has come to dominate and distort the response to a rational and patriotic effort to bring more transparency to government decision-making in order to ensure that it remains Muslim Brotherhood-free.
Why would anyone want to stay in the dark about that?